OPD: Search continues for OIS suspect

Suspect rammed car into police cruiser and fled
Posted at 5:49 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 18:49:37-04

Omaha Police are looking for a driver who fled the scene of an accident early Thursday with an OPD officer, who fired shots at the car as it sped away, according to OPD.

At 2:30 a.m. Thursday, OPD officers pursued a white Honda Accord after they saw it violated a traffic signal at 13th Street and Bob Gibson Boulevard, but lost sight of it near 16th Street and Spring Lake Drive, the release states.

The Honda struck a second OPD cruiser driven by Officer Jordan Smith, 26, who was in the area at the time, nearly head-on, leaving Smith with injuries to both legs, the release states. He was transported to Bergan Mercy Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Smith fired three rounds as the Honda sped away; the vehicle was located minutes later near the round-about at 16th Street and Spring Lake Drive, the release states.

This commotion startled nearby neighbors, “I notice police cars out there and so I knew if there were police cars out there that something had to be going on,” said Carolyn Roberts.

Some in the neighborhood don’t like the idea Officer Smith fired off three rounds at the fleeing car, “Anytime you just fire off a firearm inside town there’s always a possibility that somebody else can get hurt unintentionally. And unless he really feels his life is threatened or some public person’s life is threatened it really shouldn’t be done,” said David McKain.

Police noted the car had been struck by three bullets, but said there was no evidence any of them had entered the passenger area of the vehicle, which had been reported stolen Wednesday in Carter Lake, Iowa.

Police searched the area near where the vehicle was found, but did not find a suspect.

The OPD Officer Involved Investigation Team is looking for information about the driver; anyone with information about this person or witnessed the incident is asked to contact OPD at 402-444-5656. Meanwhile, the team has interviewed five people, including two OPD officers, about the incident and have collected video evidence.